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Recipients Announced for the 2006 APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarships in Psychology
By Nicolle Singer
Each year since 1996, the American Psychological Foundation (APF) and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP) have jointly offered graduate research scholarships to doctoral students whose research reflects excellence in scientific psychology. The fellowships are meant to assist graduate students of psychology with research costs, and are administered by the APA Science Directorate.
Two of the major awards within the program are the $3,000 Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship and the $2,000 Clarence J. Rosecrans Scholarship. In addition to this, the foundation also gives several $1,000 awards per year. Applications were reviewed by a committee of distinguished COGDOP members. The recipients that follow scored the highest on a number of criteria, including their description of the context of the research, research design, and the theoretical and applied value of the study.
Laura E. Knouse(University of North Carolina at Greensboro) is this year's Matarazzo Scholarship winner. The award will fund her dissertation research "Adult AD/HD, Metamemory, and Self-Regulation in Context." Little research has examined adult students with AD/HD, although the self-directed nature of higher education puts adults with this disorder at a clear disadvantage. This research examines how people with and without AD/HD perform on a series of metamemory tasks. Since AD/HD is defined in part as a difficulty organizing tasks and activities, participants with this disorder are expected to perform poorly when the tasks require greater self-regulation.
Laura remarks that "The adults that participate in my study undergo over three hours of assessment in two separate sessions. The award will make it possible for me to compensate them for their time and effort… I am grateful to those who have participated so far and most say they are motivated by the possibility of helping other adults with this disorder. I hope that my research can provide clues to the most appropriate educational interventions for this population."
Sarah A. Palyo(State University of New York at Buffalo) is this year's Rosecrans Scholarship recipient, to assist with costs of her dissertation project "Resiliency in Response to an Analogue Stressor: Exploring the Relationship between Hardiness and Posttrauma Reactions." The funding will provide participant incentives and will cover the costs of online data collection. Sarah commented that "I am very honored to be chosen as a recipient of this award. The funding this award provides will help me to complete my dissertation."
Data collection for this research began with a survey of all Psych 101 students in order to identify students who represent the entire spectrum of levels of hardiness. These students are then exposed to a laboratory stressor and repeatedly tested over the next few days for symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and coping strategies.
Additionally, the following students were awarded $1,000 APF/COGDOP Scholarships.
Lisa M. Christian(The Ohio State University) received funding for her dissertation research "Stress, Depression, and Inflammatory Immune Responses During Pregnancy." While stress and depression have been linked to negative perinatal outcomes, this research is innovative in its implication of inflammation as the linking mechanism. In particular, this study examines the effects of psychosocial and biological factors on the reaction to influenza vaccinations. Lisa plans to use the funds to "include immune measures…that can be cost-prohibitive at the graduate level."
Sarah Frenkiel-Fishman(Concordia University, Quebec) received funding for her research, "A Longitudinal Study of Precursors of Theory of Mind." Around age 4-5, normally developing children gain a concept of their own and others' minds. This research seeks to specify some of the antecedents to this theory's development in children with and without autism. Sarah remarked that "As a PhD student in Psychology, APA has been an invaluable resource. I am therefore truly honored and grateful to be a recipient of this award."
Matthew C. Hocking(The University of Alabama) received an award to help fund his project: "Predictors of Coping Success in Children with Recurrent Abdominal Pain: The Influence of Executive Function and Attention Regulation." This research investigates the role of children's psychosocial characteristics, their coping abilities, and their management of recurrent pain. Matthew reports that "This award will enable me to conduct my dissertation research." He also remarked that "Through my research, I hope to contribute to the literature on recurrent abdominal pain and to identify potential targets for intervention."
Katherine H. Karlsgodt(University of California, Los Angeles) received funding for her dissertation project "Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Verbal Working Memory in Schizophrenia." This research investigates the genetic and memory circuitry mechanisms underlying schizophrenia in patients, their twins, and high risk non-schizophrenics. The award funds will allow Katherine to purchase needed data analysis tool for this research. She reports being "very pleased to find out that I was selected for an APF/COGDOP Scholarship. I was honored to be nominated and even more so to be chosen to receive an award."
Jeffrey D. Karpicke(Washington University in St. Louis) was awarded a scholarship for his dissertation research "Students' Use of Self-Testing as a Strategy to Enhance Learning." This research examines how students monitor and regulate their learning, and the role of testing as a tool that can enhance learning and the retention of knowledge. Jeffrey remarks that "It is an honor to receive this award, and it will be a great help to me in completing my dissertation research." The funds will be allocated to participant incentives and necessary software.
Meghan D. McAuliffe(University of Delaware) received an award to support her dissertation: "The Impact of Teaching Behavior on Children's Peer Relations." Peer acceptance is central to many aspects of well-being, although it is elusive for many children. This study examines the impact of teachers' behavior and cognition on social preference among children. Meghan reports that "The funds will be essential to the execution of my study, and the recognition is encouraging toward the continued pursuit of my research interests."
Beth Mechlin(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) received funding for her dissertation "Ethnicity and Pain: Biological and Psychosocial Factors." Because African Americans experience chronic and clinical pain differently than White Americans, Beth has conducted research on whether members of this ethnic group also differ in their physiological response to pain. This study is designed to provide insight into ethnic differences in pain perception using noxious laboratory stimuli. The award will be used for participant compensation.
Ilke Oztekin(New York University) has received an APF/COGDOP Scholarship to fund her dissertation research "Behavioral and Neural Markers of Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity." To examine working memory, two experiments will evaluate differences between participants high and low on working memory capacity using a speed-accuracy tradeoff procedure. Another experiment will use fMRI to identify the neural pathways implicated in these differences. Ilke reports that "I will use this award to support participant fees for my dissertation experiments."
Elizabeth J. Rahn(University of Georgia) has been awarded a Scholarship for her research project "Central Sites of Action for Cannabinoid Modulation of Chemotherapy-induced Painful Neuropathy." Chemotherapy often induces painful side-effects that are resistant to conventional treatment options. This study will examine the use of a synthetic drug to block neuropathic pain. Elizabeth reports that "This information will better enable researchers to exploit the analgesic properties of cannabinoids." Funds will assist with the purchase and housing of animals.
Lisa M. Sontag(University of Florida) received funding for her dissertation research "Understanding the Impact of Adolescent Peer Experiences on Psychosocial Adjustment." Adolescents vary in their risk for adjustment problems in middle school. This research examines the ways stressful peer experiences and off-time pubertal maturation influence adjustment and elicit coping strategies. Lisa remarks that "This award provides students with a great opportunity to pursue new and exciting research while easing a bit of the financial burden."
Jenny C. Su(University of Minnesota) was awarded an APF/COGDOP Scholarship for her dissertation research project "Cultural Differences in Emotion Regulation: The Effects of Emotional Suppression on Well-Being." Two studies will examine the impact of emotional suppression on well-being, contrasting Asians born and raised in Asia with Asians born and raised in North America. The first study will be survey-based and the second will be a laboratory manipulation of emotional suppression. The funding will be used for participant incentives.